“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1 NIV)
Did you notice that this scripture says, “Your motives could keep you from receiving your reward from our Father”? That’s a penetrating thought, right? Recently, I read this, but I didn’t quite understand how this applied to me or what it really meant. The revelation honestly didn’t download into my heart until it was time for me to submit this EmpowerMoment. While I attempted for a whole week to write an EmpowerMoment, I kept getting what some call ‘writer’s block.’ I started to sense there was a greater issue at hand. God was trying to tell me something thus I couldn’t write. I prayed and started to type but that didn’t work. I would type a full EmpowerMoment and delete it. This happened like four times so I took a real prayer break and I was lead to the Word of God. The Holy Spirit led me to Matthew 6. Jesus was teaching on giving, fasting, and prayer.
The giving part attracted my attention and it was the area that God wanted to EMPOWER me in, so in return I could EMPOWER you. My problem of not knowing what to write for this EmpowerMoment was an issue with the motive of my heart. I was more focused on looking good as a writer. I was focused on using the right words to link my ideas and how would I look to you (the readers) instead of allowing my EmpowerMoment to give Him glory. I was focused on choosing words that would make me seem like I’m talented instead of leading to His word. I was trying to display my time of studying and memorization of scripture instead of letting Him be seen. The word of God was so clear, “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1 NIV) Once I made aware of this, I quickly confessed it to the Father and asked Him to forgive me. I asked for His help to be wiser in the area of my motives.
Our hearts are very wicked and we can be ignorant at times. We even deceive ourselves into thinking that what we are doing is ok, especially if we can attach religion to it. Our lives and all that we do should not be for man nor man’s benefit (or even our very own), but should be for the glory of God! There is nothing wrong with doing things, but when the “thing” becomes the center or motive for doing it, it’s wrong! If one continues unrepentant then it becomes sin. For example, there’s nothing wrong with wearing designer clothing, moving up the corporate ladder, wearing make-up, or even being a part of ministry. But when your motive is to flaunt what you have to others or you seek to attract others to you and your made-up “greatness”, then it becomes a problem. God did not create dust (yes we are dust; see Psalm103:14) to be attracted to dust, but to worship and glorify Him and Him alone!
Our motives matter more than anything else to God. It’s not what we do, but why do we do it. My “it” was writing this EmpowerMoment. Let me also point out that if I didn’t pray and truly give the Holy Spirit authorization to search my heart and find the root issue to why I couldn’t write, then I too would have been deceived . I would have thought that what I was doing was ok. I would have submitted my writing, felt good because I met a deadline, and maybe got a couple of views and comments, but I would’ve lost my ultimate reward.
My ultimate reward can only be given to me by God based on me having pure motives. My new math equation is pure motive for the Glory of God equals reward (Pure Motives = Rewards)! Our Father doesn’t want us doing things or giving things for notice or to please men. This also applies to practicing our righteousness (our relationship with Jesus, prayer lives, reading our bibles, going to church, and etc.)
So what should my motive be continuing on as a writer or anything else I find myself doing? Our motive should always be to bring Him GLORY! Not to pat ourselves on the back or look good before others, but “…whether you eat or drink or WHATEVER you do, do it ALL for the glory of God.” (1Corinthians10:31 NIV)
Father, we first give thanks to You for being so understanding of our feebleness. Your Word declares that we are just dust and without Your supernatural life in us we are nothing. Heavenly Father, empower and strengthen us. Breathe new life in us. Give us hearts that look towards You and not other dust. Expose the negative motives of our hearts and get the glory from all that we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Today, I EMPOWER you to get silent before the Father for self-examination. Ask Him to expose any motive that will not get you a glorified return and know that He will reward you!
Have you ever found yourself seeking the glory of man instead of the Father and have a testimony of deliverance and freedom? Please share your story with us!
Mrs. Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall is happily married to the wonderful and inspiring Antoine L. Marshall. She is the proud mother of two gorgeous girls. Her voice is one of the leading and authentic voices for breast-feeding, especially for the African-American community and Generation Y. She currently works inside of her home and plans to become a professional licensed lactation consultant in 2014. She and her family are members at Spirit of Liberty Church located in Markham, IL. Embracing the love that God has for her, Lisa labors to live an acceptable and pure life through the leading and keeping of the Holy Spirit so that her attitude, words, and actions attract the glory of God. In her free time she loves receiving manis and pedis. Her favorite promises that she find comfort and reassurance in are: Psalm34:19: “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” and Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”